Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission

2020 Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC)Events  

Wreaths Across America Veterans Memorial:              LOCHC, Live Oak County Cemetery Associations, VFW and American Legion Honor Live Oak County Veterans with Wreaths across America (WAA) memorial services. (More photos and information continue to be added to this scrolled collage as they come in with information.) This is an auspicious memorial and every American can honor his or her relatives and ancestors who preserved the security of this country during their lifetime through military service.

Enjoy Live Oak County's WAA Virtual Tour.  

Wreaths Across America delivered on December 17 by an 18 wheeler to the Buck West Community Center in George West ready for designated cemetery deliveries by local WAA supporters to Oakville Historic Texas Cemetery, then George West Historic Texas Cemetery, and Gussettville Cemetery. Gussettville Cemetery received separate delivery at St. Joseph's Catholic Church where Tish Williams waited to greet them. Peggy Skorupa, her brother and his wife, Bernard and Margie Lemley, helped Peggy deliver to Oakville and St. George cemeteries. Larry Holm delivered to George West where Robin McKinney and Melanie Smith helped unload and organize the wreaths for Saturday's service. Photo credit Peggy Skoruppa.


More cemeteries in Live Oak County have veteran interments. We hope to see additional veterans honored each year. If anyone has a veteran in the family, wherever you live, make sure to contact Wreaths Across America to help you get in touch with their local representative and have your veteran honored with a wreath each year. Wreaths were delivered in an 18 wheeler on December 17. Each wreath donation is $15.00. Your $15 may be specified for one of your family ancestors at the cemetery where s/he is interred. Each delivery also contains unspecified donations which are placed on graves of veterans otherwise having none.


Photo above and below, unless designated otherwise, by Peggy Skoruppa:

Peggy Skoruppa, opens Wreaths Across America Veteran's memorial at Oakville Historic Texas Cemetery, Saturday morning, December 19, 2020. Melvin Melton, from the American Legion Post 413, stands at ease after American flag raising. 

Wreaths for each of the Seven Services of the American Armed Forces are stationed in front of the American Flag, Texas State Historical Marker for Oakville Historic Texas Cemetery, and the Oakville Historical Texas Cemetery Medallion. Live Oak County's Wreaths Across America Memorial first began here at Oakville in 2018.

Live Oak American Legion Post 413: John Colston, John Shendal (District 14 Commander), Joe Crawford, Rosendo Pena (Post 413 Commander), and Melvin Melton salute the Seven Services of the American Armed Forces: United States Army, United States Navy, United States Air Force, United States Marines, United States Prisoner of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIA), United States Coast Guard, and United States National Guard. Not in this picture are:Dale Burrell, Chad Morris and Esmeralda Pierce.

American Legion Post 413: Joe Crawford, John Shendal (District 14 Commander), John Colston, Rosendo Pena (Post 413 Commander) Melvin Melton, Esmeralda Pierce and audience at Oakville Historic Texas Cemetery salute and stand at attention while Rebecca Darling Gillette sings "The Star Spangled Banner", the American National Anthem. Not clearly in this picture are Dale Burrell and Chad Morris.

Historic Texas Oakville Cemetery Wreaths Across America Memorial closes with bugler, Rebecca Darling Gillette, playing "Taps" after wreaths are placed on all the American Veteran Graves at the cemetery.


Origin of "Taps" 


Until the Civil War burial of 600 men following the "bloody Seven Days battles", the French "Lights Out" was played at each day's end in military camps and to close a military funeral. Wounded Union General Daniel Adams Butterfield felt the tune too formal. He "wished to honor his men". His bugler, Oliver Wilcox Norton, "...showing me some notes on a staff written in pencil on the back of an envelope (he) asked me to sound them on my bugle. I did this several times, playing the music as written. He changed it somewhat, lengthening some notes and shortening others, but retaining the melody as he first gave it to me. After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for Taps thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring Brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished." 


"Taps" was played more and more often at the close of the military day and the close of military funerals. It became the standard in 1891.

Live Oak County's WAA Memorial Virtual Tour continues in the left aquamarine sidebar under Wreaths Across America. See WAA at George West Historic Texas Cemetery.

Dobie Dichos-Annual storytelling event Friday, November 6-Saturday, Novemter 7, 2020.

Dobie Dichos is live at the Old Oakville Square Friday, November 6 and the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre, Saturday, November 7. Details at the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre site.



Monday, October 19, 2020, 5:30 pm


 1. Call to order

 2.  Introduction of visitors; recognition of anyone wishing to address the Commission

 3.  Approval of August 24, 2020, Minutes

 4.  Reports of officers and chairs of standing committees:

  • Financial Report—Leslie Walker, Treasurer
  • Marker Chair Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Website Report—Janis Hudson, Webmaster
  • Oral History Report—Glynis Strause, Chair
  • Archeology/Endangered Properties Report—Jim Warren, Chair
  • Publicity Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Education Report—Chairmanship now open
  • Cemetery Report—Bernard Lemley, Chair
  • Hospitality Report—Mary Margaret Campbell, Chair

 5.  Update on Live Oak Centennial Celebration Ornament by Nancy Coquat

 6.  LOCHC storage/workspace update by Charlotte Schroeder

 7.  Update on relocation of stage stop walls to Oakville by Albert Davila

 8.  Wreaths Across America report by Peggy Skoruppa

 9.  Online seminar offered by THC: “Elements of Successful Philanthropy”

10.  Proposed telecommunications tower site

11.  Report on field trip to Blackland Museum

12.  Website proposal by Janis Hudson

13.  100 block of Houston St., George West, report by Glynis Strause

14.  Review of reimbursement requests before submission to the county treasurer

15.  Ask if any Appointees wish to address the Commission.

16.  Work sessions, if needed, for standing committees

17.  Adjourn

LOCHC Appointees making a field trip to Black Land and Sinton Musuems in San Patricio County: Charlotte Schroeder, guest Monty Schroeder, Archaeology Chair Jim Warren, Cindi Robinson, Vice Chair Mary Margaret Campbell, and Treasurer Leslie Walker. The appointees took lunch at the Back Street Café in Sinton between museum tours. 




WHEN:  Monday, August 24, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 PM

WHERE:  Dobie/West Performing Arts Theatre, 304 Houston St., George West, TX


The Live Oak County Historical Commission may discuss and/or take action on any of the following items:


 1. Call to order

 2.  Introduction of visitors; recognition of anyone wishing to address the Commission

 3.  Approval of June 15, 2020, Minutes

 4.  Reports of officers and chairs of standing committees:

  • Financial Report—Leslie Walker, Treasurer
  • Marker Chair Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Website Report—Janis Hudson, Webmaster
  • Oral History Report—Glynis Strause, Chair
  • Archeology/Endangered Properties Report—Jim Warren, Chair
  • Publicity Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Education Report—Bernadette Gibson, Chair
  • Cemetery Report—Chairmanship now open
  • Hospitality Report—Mary Margaret Campbell, Chair

 5.  Report on Live Oak Centennial Celebration by Nancy Coquat

 6.  Report on meeting with County Judge Huff and Commissioner James

 7.  LOCHC storage/workspace update

 8.  Awards applications submissions

 9.  Online Course: Basics of Archives to be presented by THC

10.  Update on relocation of stage stop walls to Oakville by Gipper Nelson

11.  2021-2022 LOCHC

12.  Review of reimbursement requests before submission to the county treasurer

13.  Ask if any Appointees wish to address the Commission.

14.  Work sessions, if needed, for standing committees

15.  Adjourn

Live Oak County Historical Commission

This notice posted the 21st day of August 2020.


Mary Margaret Campbell, Vice-chairman

Live Oak County Historical Commission

P. O. Box 476, George West, TX  78022




Two new Live Oak County Texas Historical Markers approved by THC Board: Live Oak County Courthouse (RTHL Marker)and George West Historical Texas Cemetery Marker. 

See full announcement on this site's home page. Narrative history of each posted soon.

LOCHC Third 2020 Quarterly Meeting, Monday, August 24, Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre. 5:30 PM. Announcement from Mary Margaret Campbell, LOCHC Vice Chair: Social distancing and sanitization of space for local meetings is still in practice in Live Oak County.  This site continues to update and give readers more history of Live Oak County.  May each of you continue to be safe and healthy.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Receives Fifth Distinguished Service Award for 2019 Service!

Congratulations to all in Live Oak County and those who serve on the Live Oak County Historical Commission presently and at any time in the past! For the fifth successive year, the LOCHC received this Texas DSA award. The LOCHC has a record of serving this community since the 1960's. It has had numerous accomplishments during that time as one can see by the many historical markers, the history book published in 1981, the reclamation of Geronimo's likeness on the Live Oak County Courthouse lawn which the LOCHC spearheaded with numerous other Live Oak organizations.


However, near the close of the twentieth century, the organization had difficulty in finding those who were willing to continue. In 2011, the organization was revitalized and began with a new charter group. The organization continued growth again. Under the leadership of Leslie Walker and now Ross Harris, the organization has continued to be recognized with a Distinguished Service Award.


Only 79 of Texas' 254 counties received this award for 2019. 185 counties applied, so this award makes the LOCHC distinguished not only in service but also in name. 

Live Oak County Historical Commission Second Quarterly Meeting in front of wallscape at Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre on June 15, 2020. Standing L/R: Glynis Holm Strause, Jim Warren, Drusanne Hunter, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cyndi Robinson, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley. Photo by Nancy Coquat.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Second Quarterly Meeting in front of wallscape at Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre on June 15, 2020. Standing L/R: Nancy Coquat, Jim Warren, Drusanne Hunter, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cyndi Robinson, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley. Photo by Glynis Holm Strause.





WHEN:  Monday, June 15, 2020, 5:30 to 7:30 PM

WHERE:  Dobie/West Performing Arts Theatre, 304 Houston St., George West, TX


The Live Oak County Historical Commission may discuss and/or take action on any of the following items:


 1. Call to order

 2.  Introduction of visitors; recognition of anyone wishing to address the Commission

 3.  Approval of February 3, 2020, Minutes

 4.  Reports of officers and chairs of standing committees:

  • Financial Report—Leslie Walker, Treasurer
  • Marker Chair Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Website Report—Janis Hudson, Webmaster
  • Oral History Report—Glynis Strause, Chair
  • Archeology/Endangered Properties Report—Jim Warren, Chair
  • Publicity Report—Richard Hudson, Chair
  • Education Report—Bernadette Gibson, Chair
  • Cemetery Report—Sherry Kosarek, Chair
  • Hospitality Report—Mary Margaret Campbell, Chair

 5.  Report on Live Oak Centennial Celebration by Nancy Coquat

 6.  LOCHC storage/workspace update by Charlotte Schroeder

 7.  C. C. Cox House update by Gipper Nelson

 8.  Report on Scholarship meeting w/Kurt House by MM Campbell

 9.  Report on presentation by Dr. Monte Monroe on February 22, 2020

10.  Brochure ideas for promoting Live Oak County history

11.  Review of reimbursement requests before submission to the county treasurer

12.  Ask if any Appointees wish to address the Commission.

13.  Work sessions, if needed, for standing committees

14.  Adjourn

Live Oak County Historical Commission

This notice posted the 12th day of June 2020.


Mary Margaret Campbell, Vice-chairman

Live Oak County Historical Commission

P. O. Box 476, George West, TX  78022







Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre invites the public to each of the following events. While the theatre is not sponsored by the LOCHC, many LOCHC appointees are involved in the administration and productions of the theatre. In addition, the theatre opens its doors for many LOCHC Events.

Check out the theatre's website for more information at: So join us at

Dobie West Theatre: 304 Houston Street, 

George West, Texas 78022


       Dr. Monte Monroe, Texas State Historian.

"The Great Western Trail" was presented by Dr. Monte Monroe, Texas State Historian, from Texas Tech University at The Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre, 11:00 A.M., Saturday, February 22, 2020.

LOCHC First 2020 Quarterly Meeting at Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre, February 3.

Mary Margaret Campbell brings the first 2020 LOCHC business meeting to order at the Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre on February 3 in George West, Texas.

LOCHC First Quarterly meeting began 5:30 PM on February 3 at the George West Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre. Mary Margaret Campbell, acting Chair, presided in the absence of LOCHC Chair, Ross Harris. From left to right around the table are: Charlotte Schmidt Schroeder (back to the camera), Cindi Robertson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Drusanne Hunter, Grace Wilson, Jim Warren, LOC Judge Jim Huff, Glynis Holm Strause, Gipper Nelson, Charles Kosarek and Mary Margaret Campbell (also back to the camera). Peggy Skoruppa and Leslie Walker were present but not at this table at the time. Attending and taking the photo was Bernadette Cardona Gibson.

Thanks, Bernadette, for the photos.

CC Cox Caliche Stagecoach remains moving to Oakville.

CC Cox was one of the one of the early stagecoach owners in the Lagarto area. Buildings in the area at the time were most often built with caliche and wood. Without proper preservation both are subject to deterioration by sun, rain, other climate and time. Very few remains still exist, are deteriorated and now covered by undergrowth. Albert Davila (right), who first purchased and restored the old Oakville Courthouse Jail, has added many old settler homes and artifacts to the square. Davila is working to get these caliche remains moved to the Oakville Square area to preserve them for posterity.  Photo courtesy Gipper Nelson.

Bernard Lemley (L) and Albert Davila (R) talk about the history of stagecoaches in the area and moving these huge stone artifacts to Oakville.  Photos courtesy Gipper Nelson.

Three Rivers Primitive Baptist Church is moved from Three Rivers to Oakville Square, January 28.

LOCHC Appointee, Gipper Nelson, stands with Albert Davila, owner and manager of Old Oakville Square, in front of Primitive Baptist Church just before move from Three Rivers.


This rustic old church building has apparently served several communities. Now it has been moved to a new resting place at Oakville. It appears it was first built around 1926 as the Lutheran church at Ray Point. After the Lutherans moved their services to Three Rivers, the First Baptist Church of Three Rivers purchased the building. Together with men from the Atascosa Addition, they moved the church to serve as a mission for that Hispanic community. For many years, this church was the site of church services, revivals, vacation bible schools, weddings, funerals, and many other needs of its congregation and community. However, it became dormant and passed through several owners. Albert Davila, who with his wife, Mari, restored the original Live Oak County Court House Square in Oakville, sought out the present owners and purchased the building.

After moving the building to Oakville, the Davila's plan to restore the church to its original state and will make it once again available for weddings and other family and community activities there. The LOCHC and all of Live Oak County are grateful for the Davila's constant Live Oak County preservation efforts. 

Digging up foundation stone with markings on it.

Albert Davila and Maldonado Moving Crew just before removing church from its Three Rivers' site to Oakville. Sallie and Kevin Mackey also present in the background.

Photos courtesy of Gipper Nelson.

2019 events are moving to the 2019 Archive. Enjoy some of those events and those of other years which are still here. Most of 2019 has moved to the archive, but those immediately below this notice finish out the year's activities with other years yet to be archived. Thank you for your patience.

           LOCHC at the Capitol in Austin, February 26

                                                                                                        Photo courtesy Mary Margaret Campbell.

Live Oak County Historical Commission appointees in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol.

Honorable Jim Huff hosted Live Oak County Historical Commission Appointees at their Capitol Event on February 26. Senator Judith Zaffirini, Representative Ryan Guillen, and Susan Gammage of the Texas Historical Commission, each met with Live Oak County Historical Commission appointees during the event.



                                                                             Photo courtesy Leslie Walker.


From left: Live Oak County Historical Commission Appointees: Gipper Nelson, Bernard Lemley, Robin Dawson McKinney, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, Cindi Robinson, and Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff.

                                                                                                      Photo courtesy Mary Margaret Campbell.

Senator Zaffirini read proclamation honoring Live Oak County Historical Commission on the Texas State Senate Floor. Left to Right: Judge Jim Huff, Gipper Nelson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Cindi Robinson, Senator Zaffirini, Mary Margaret Campbell, Leslie Walker, and Bernard Lemley.

                                                                                                         Photo courtesy Mary Margaet Campbell.

Representative Ryan Guillen read proclamation honoring Live Oak County Historical Commission on the Texas State House floor. Here they meet in Guillen's office with surprise guest, Live Oak County Sheriff Larry Busby. From Left: Leslie Walker, Sheriff Larry Busby, Mary Margaret Campbell, Gipper Nelson standing in back, Representative Ryan Guillen, Cindi Robinson, Robin Dawson McKinney, Bernard Lemley, and Judge Jim Huff.

                                                                                                                       Photo courtesy Leslie Walker.


Texas Historical Commission (THC) Architect and Assistant Director of the THC Courthouse Program met with Judge Huff and LOCHC appointees to discuss demolition of the 1962 jail attached to the Live Oak County Courthouse. From Left: Bernard Lemley, Leslie Walker, Robert McVey-assistant to Representative Guillen, Susan Gammage, Cindi Robinson, Judge Jim Huff, and Robin Dawson McKinney.  

LOCHC Events of 2018

Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) is proud to announce: Oakville Cemetery is the first in the county to receive coveted Designated Historic Texas Cemetery Medallion. 


Thanks to hard work on the part of Sherry Kosarek-LOCHC Cemetery Chair, Bernard Lemley-Oakville Cemetery Association President, Peggy Skoruppa, Pryor Brown and other members of the Oakville Cemetery Association, the long awaited Oakville Cemetery HTC Medallion arrived in the office of Ross Harris, LOCHC Chairperson.


Plans for unveiling were set for December 15 at 1:00 PM; the medallion was unveiled followed by ceremonial wreaths placed on all veteran graves in coordination with Wreaths Across America.


Wreaths Across America is an annual event the Oakville Cemetery plans to continue. Texans join in this effort across much of the state. If you would like to include your cemetery and/or contribute toward this worthy cause, contact 361-728-4321. Money must be turned in to the state or national headquarters by the end of November each year. 


On December 15 each year, Wreaths Across America sponsors this ceremonial wreath laying on all American veteran's graves. It is an honor for Oakville to be a part of this national event. Any citizen at any cemetery can participate.


Oakville Cemetery has about 40 veteran memorials dating back to the 1850's. This was an auspicious view when completed. 

St. George Catholic Church Texas Historical Subject Marker was unveiled during the St. George Centennial Celebration on Saturday, November 17 3:30 PM in front of the church. Dignitaries from the Corpus Christi Diocese honored the George West Parish with their presence at that time. Many came to enjoy the event. 

Read more about 100 year old St. George Catholic Church, George West, Texas by clicking on the highlighted phrase. George West second school building in left background.

Jessy Frank Gray Texas Historic Subject Marker unveiled Sunday, November 18, 2:00 PM Rialto Theater, 106 W. Thornton Street, Three Rivers, Texas (78071) WWI hero in the St. Mihiel and French Meuse-Argonne offensives.  

Program in the Rialto Theatre across the street from City Hall where Gray's WWI marker was installed. Gray was one of many Live Oak County veterans who served meritoriously. The event is to honor all Live Oak WWI veterans. All who joined in this celebration are appreciated.

Read more about World War I and Live Oak County's part including a list of all Live Oak County WWI participants discharged through the Live Oak County Courthouse on this website by clicking on the highlights here.

9/2018: Live Oak County Historical Commission receives George West Cemetery honor with Designated Texas Historic Cemetery (HTC) status.                                                                                                                                          Certificate yet to be awarded. State HTC certificate of designation required before a cemetery may apply for a Historic Texas Cemetery Medallion with cemetery name and date of origin plaque or choose a Historic Texas Cemetery Marker with historical legend. While the marker event requires numerous steps beginning September 1-November 15 the same or following year certificate is delivered, the LOCHC and the county can look forward to a marker ceremony at the cemetery entrance and that event within the next year and a half to two years. Watch for more news.

Oakville Post Office Marker finds a new home.

Texas State Historical Marker for Oakville Post Office has quite a history itself.


    Located on Highway 37N Oakville access, vandals recently sawed and cut the marker off at the ground. They tied ropes around it and were apparently dragging it away. Something or someone stopped them. They left it beside the highway access but behind the Historic Oakville County Jail Square owned by Albert and Mari Davila. Yard maintenance men for the Square found the marker and brought it to Davila's attention. 


    Davila purchased the Oakville Jail and Square some time ago. He and his wife beautifully restored the old jail. It is now a historic visitation site with the original Oakville post office boxes inside. The cottage sits among a group of cottages with the Oakville Jail situated on the southeast corner of Oakville Square. The Historic Oakville Jailhouse and Guesthouses is a "gathering place for special occasions and for individual or group events from short one day or week long events.


    Once the town of Oakville lost county seat status in 1919, folks began to move away. Many old homesites around Oakville were left vacant and began to deteriorate. As people saw how the Davila family restored the jail, they began to offer Albert their old homesites which he moved to the Square, restored, and added as additional guest homes with the jail. 


   The Post Office Cabin is one of these restored homeplaces. From time to time as Post Masters or Mistresses changed, post boxes were moved from the original Oakville Post Office to homes or stores belonging to the then current post office master or mistress. Finally, the original post office boxes found a permanent resting place in this restored cabin of a former postmaster. [Full story below on this website with photo of Cody and Mary Margaret Campbell.]


   Cody Campbell's ancestor, John Sanderson Campbell (a former Union Captain in the Civil War) was the post master at Oakville 1891-1901, and Campbell's daughter, Beulah, was post mistress 1901-1914. Davila reports on his jailhouse website, "At it's rededication in July 2009, many of the families that used these PO boxes to receive mail thru the generations, still remembered their combinations and were able to unlock their box!"


    The State of Texas appointed the Texas Historical Commission back in the 1960's to oversee development and production of markers with the purpose of permanently recording the history of people, places, and events of local Texas history. The Oakville Post Office Marker was applied for by the Live Oak County Historical Commission and erected at Oakville in 1979.


    The Oakville Post Office marker was first placed at Oakville. The mayor of George West believed more people would see it by placing it on the access cut away at Oakville. It was then made quite attractive and obvious to passers-by with columns beside it.   


    Marker procedure and law: When Texas State Historical markers are placed, the property owner previously granted permission for the marker's placement and retains property ownership; but, the State of Texas owns the marker. Markers beside highways are placed there under the auspices of the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDoT).


    It is unlawful to desecrate a Texas Historical Marker by state law. Also, it is unlawful to move a marker without expressed permission of the state. To get permission, one first makes a request through the Live Oak County Historical Commission's Marker Chair and must have permission from the property owner where it will be placed. The Marker Chair forwards the request and property owner's permission to the Texas Historical Commission in Austin which decides if the replacement is a worthy relocation and either grants or denies the request. 


    When maintenance men for the Oakville Square found the marker on the ground with ragged ropes which had dragged it away, a decision of where to place it became important. The decision was made to place it beside the Post Office Cabin more fully telling the story of Oakville and its post office. Now Oakville, the cabin, the post office boxes, and the marker which tells their story are together in one compelling place.


    Note to viewers: If you witness a marker desecration or move which does not appear appropriate, please contact local authorities. They will either confirm the movement or take steps toward restitution. Otherwise, remember, a marker unread is history untold. Read markers you see across the state. It's free Texas history for you!!


Here's the Oakville Post Office Marker with its text from the THC Atlas: 

   Oakville Post Office


  Irish immigrants settled this area as part of the John McMullen Mexican land grant. Located on the Sulphur tributary of the Nueces River, this site was known as "On the Sulphur". Live Oak County was organized in 1856 and "Oakville" was named county seat. Thomas Wilson gave 640 acres for the townsite stipulating that separate squares be marked as public, graveyard, church, and school squares.  Oakville grew as stores, two hotels, a livery stable, a school, and two churches were established.

  The Oakville post office was established May 11, 1857, with Joshua Hinton as the first postmaster. The mail came four times a week on stagecoaches traveling from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and on to Brownsville. By 1879 the San Antonio-Corpus Christi stage left both ends of the line six days a week. Stage travel became less popular with the arrival of the railroad. When the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf railroad bypassed Oakville in 1913, the town began to decline. The county seat was relocated in 1919 at George West. 

  In 1966 the Oakville Post Office was designated as a rural branch of the Three Rivers Post Office and continues to serve the community (1979). Marker is the Property of the State of Texas.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Past Events  

Live Oak County Historical Commission met Monday, October 15, 2018. (5:30 PM - 7:00 PM), Lagarto Community Center, Lagarto, Texas.

Lagarto's history is an important part of Live Oak County History and can be found by clicking on highlight above. Move information is also available at Lagarto Historic Texas Cemetery.

2018 Third Quarterly Meeting - Monday, July 16, 2018. Argenta Schoolhouse, Argenta, Texas. (5:30-7:00 pm)

Our thanks to the Argenta community for preserving and providing their historic school as a setting for family and organizational meetings such as ours.

See the history of Argenta in the Live Oak County Communities section.

Photo courtesy Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell.

Ross Harris, Chair of the Live Oak County Historical Commission, gets down to business.

Photo courtesy Richard Hudson.

Live Oak County Historical Commission at work. Appointees L-R outside table, Charles Kosarek, Cindi Robinson, Janis Hudson, Bernadette Cardonna Gibson, Ross Harris. Inside left table, Jim Warren, Richard "Hud" Hudson, Nancy Coquat, Peggy Skoruppa, Sherry Kosarek, and Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell. Inside right table, Drusanne Hunter. Outside right table beginning at wall, Charles "Gipper" Nelson, Grace Wilson, Glynis Strause, and guest - Bernard Lemley. Photo courtesy Hud Hudson.

Facial views same appointees. Guest, Bernard Lemley - President of the Oakville Cemetery Association, was present to thank Sherry Kosarek, Cemetery Chair, and Peggy Skoruppa for work on Oakville's Historic Texas Cemetery (HTC) designation. HTC designation acknowledged by The Texas Historical Commission along with the HTC medallion will soon be unveiled at Oakville Cemetery. Watch for announcement here and in the Progress. Thanks also to Mary Margaret and her hospitality committee, especially Effie Obregon for scrumptious homemade empenadas. Photo courtesy Hud Hudson.

Live Oak County Historical Commission receives fourth consecutive annual award: Texas Historical Commission's 2017 Distinguished Service Award. 

Live Oak County Oral History Workshop. Saturday,    June 9, 2018. Dobie West Theatre. George West, Texas.

Dr. Stephen Sloan, Oral History Professor, Baylor University. 


   Oral History is an important part of preserving our local, state, national, and international culture and history. The Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) in conjunction with George West Storyfest, Dobie Performing Arts Theatre, and Humanities Texas presented this oral history workshop on Saturday, June 9, 2018 at the Dobie West Theatre in George West, Texas.


Thanks goes to Glynis Holm Strause, LOCHC Oral History Chair, who pursued this project. Glynis said, "I want to thank Ross Harris, LOCHC chair, for supporting this grant along with Humanities Texas, Storyfest and Dobie West Performing Arts Theatre boards. It will help us preserve the oral history of Live Oak County instead of having it be forgotten on the wind of memory."


Local tellers 2017 stories are posted on Live Oak County Historical Commission website on the LOCHC Oral History Collection page. Story subjects are listed in alphabetical order by surnames in the left sidebar. Storyfest and DWPAT also share these stories. Storytellers were: Ross Harris, Lamon and Elaine Bennett, and Jim Warren. "Listen a Little - Learn a Lot!"

     As stated on the Oral History page of the THC website, "The real record of history is found in the lives of the ordinary people who lived it. Collecting, preserving and sharing oral histories not only transmits knowledge from one generation to the next, it enhances our understanding of the past by illuminating personal experience." Local people who currently live in Live Oak County, who once did, or are related to Live Oak County through history are encouraged to visit with the Oral History Chair to become involved in this ongoing effort.


Dr. Stephen Sloan interviews Dale Burell about Burell's grandfather's ties to town founder, George W. West. Check out the complete transcript at the Live Oak County Historical Commission Oral History Collection.

Members of the Live Oak County Historical Commission and guests learned valuable information about preserving oral history.

Videographer, Kristin Gerth, records Dr. Sloan's interview with Dale Burell. See attendee, Celia Cruz's, article published in the Live Oak County and McMullen County Progress below.



No workshop is complete without refreshments! Thanks to Grace Wilson for tablecloths and centerpiece, to all who helped, and Bernadette Cardona Gibson for the delicious brownies! Thanks also to Mary Margaret Campbell, LOCHC vice-chair, for these photos and information.

Kurt House, owner and designer of Mission Sin Caja hosted the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) in a meeting room of the conference center. A view of the historic Sin Caja mesa is visible from Kurt's replicated mission. Before, the meeting, appointees toured the entire facility and returned for refreshments.


After a short business meeting, House addressed the LOCHC regarding his research on the Chisholm Trail. (Link is to full presentation which has now been presented in a number of venues and is on this website's Feature Article page.)


LOCHC appointees look forward to future events at the Mission Sin Caja facility.  

On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, the Live Oak County Historical Commission met at 5:30 PM at the site of Mission Sin Caja.


Host and Guest Speaker, Kurt House, welcomed the LOCHC appointees and guests to his amazing replicated Spanish Mission, Mission Sin Caja, and its view of the Sin Caja Mesa, long known for its stories of hidden gold, other valuables, and souls buried without a box or coffin.


Then House shared his Chisholm Trail history, that glorious period when Longhorn cattle comprised the economic push to save Texas from the despair experienced in the South following the Civil War.


Other parts of the agenda addressed:

  • upcoming Application for Appointment to the LOCHC for 2017-2018 as the current two year term ends on December 31,
  • nomination committee for next term officers,
  • Murphy House Unveiling,
  • Capitol Day in Austin,
  • Oral History

The public is always invited.

2016 LOCHC Events

Marker Unveiling: The Murphy Ranch House at Echo, 10:00 AM-11:30 AM-Saturday, October 22, 2016

Murphy Ranch House, Echo, Texas circa 1870's

Historical Marker Unveiling

Murphy Ranch House, Saturday, October 22nd

by Richard and Janis Hudson

Echo, TX, October 3, 2016 – The Live Oak County Historical Commission with Monte and Andi Estes invite the public to celebrate the unveiling Saturday, October 22, of a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark (RTHL) marker for the Murphy Ranch House at Echo, Texas. The event begins at 10 AM and ends at 11:30 AM. Entertainment and refreshments provided.

Built in 1875 by Patrick and Elizabeth (McGloin) Murphy, the house was recently approved by the Texas Historical Commission for an RTHL medallion. Patrick bought the land from Edward McGloin, son of Empresario James McGloin and brother to Elizabeth. Mexico granted Elizabeth’s father and his business partner, John McMullen, land on the north bank of the Nueces River in 1828 to settle 200 Irish Catholics.

The house sits on the north bank of Lake Corpus Christi where the Nueces River once meandered and was called "The Point". The Murphy Ranch House is 6.5 miles west of Mathis.

All are invited to an auspicious celebration including dignitaries, live music, and an open air drama about the Murphy Family. Walking tours of the house, Stagecoach Depot ruins, and homestead grounds will be available with docent guides.

The original dramatization, written by Andi Estes in collaboration with Heather Hallock and Pam Barcoft for this event, will enlighten the public regarding the distinctive contributions the Murphy Family made in South Texas History. Cast members are high school and college drama students from Texas A and M University at Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) and the Home School Association (HOST) of Corpus Christi, Texas.

Located at 250 CR  372, Mathis, Texas 78368, please join the Monte and Andi Estes family with the Live Oak County Historical Commission for this occasion.


September 30, 2016


Subject: The Murphy Ranch House RTHL Marker Unveiling, Live Oak County, Texas


The Live Oak County Historical Commission requests the presence of you, your family and friends to celebrate the unveiling of a historical marker, The Murphy Ranch House at the Mount Echo Ranch in Live Oak County, 250 County Road 372, Mathis, Texas, 78368, Saturday morning, on October 22, 2016 at 10:00 a.m., at the home of Monte and Andrea Estes.


The 1875 Murphy Ranch House was the home of San Patricio Chief Justice Patrick Francis Murphy and Elizabeth Mary Catherine McGloin-Murphy, daughter of Empresario James McGloin. After the death of his wife, Patrick sold the residence, in 1886, to Mrs. Margaret Mary Murphy, widow of his brother, Honorable John Bernard Murphy. In 1886, with her own means, Mrs. Murphy built an orphanage and St. Peter Claver’s Academy in San Antonio, the first Catholic free school for African Americans in the State of Texas. To staff her school she became the Foundress of the first order of nuns originating in Texas; the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate, using the ranch house for summer retreats and holidays for the nuns. Before her death in 1907 she sold the ranch, using the funds of the sale for the furtherance of her mission.


On the homestead grounds are the ruins of the Echo Stagecoach Depot, known as “The Point, an early pioneer settlement, which served the stage lines connected between San Antonio and Corpus Christi during the mid 1850’s to 1880’s. The old homestead sits on a hill overlooking the beautiful Nueces River Valley, now Lake Corpus Christi.


Saturday morning, October 22, 2016

10:00 a. m. – 11:30 a. m.

Live Oak County Murphy Ranch House Historical Texas Landmark Unveiling


10:00 a. m. Program: On the tented lawn of the Murphy home meet with state, county, and local officials, family, and honored guests. All Live Oak Citizens past and present are invited. The program consists of dignitaries, live music, and an open air play of the Murphy Family which will enlighten us of the distinctive contributions they made in South Texas history.  Those cast members of the play, originally written for this event, are high school and college drama students from TAMU-CC and the HOST Home School Association
 of Corpus Christi, Texas.


11:00 a. m. Visit the Open House Tour of the restored Murphy Ranch House, Walking Tour of the Echo Stagecoach Depot ruins and the Mt. Echo homestead grounds.


11:30 a. m. Unveiling complete. Thank you for your support of our county’s history with your presence and participation in this program. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning, October 22nd.



Leslie Walker                                                          Honorable Judge Jim Huff

Chairperson                                  Live Oak County Historical Commission

Live Oak County Historical Commission appointees join San Patricio County Historical Commission (SPCHC) appointees in honoring the preservation of the James McGloin home in San Patricio.


James McGloin is one of the two original empresarios who established the San Patricio Colony as part of Coahuila y Tejas in the early 1800's. Live Oak County was part of the original region in the Colony.

Next Meeting-5:00 PM-Monday, July 18, 2016-Oakville Community Center, Oakville, Texas

Our next scheduled meeting was July 18, 2016, at 5:00 pm at the Oakville Community Center.  The Davila's graciously allowed us to use the newly renovated Community Center located a short drive behind the Historic Jail. Directions: On the street to the south of the Jail one more block to run right into the building (unless you stop).


Agenda 7-18-2016

Notice of Meeting of the Live Oak County Historical Commission


Notice is hereby given that a regular meeting of the above named Live Oak County Historical Commission will be held on July 18, 2016, at 5:00 pm for approximately 2 hours at the Oakville Community Center, Oakville Texas.


Call to order;


Welcome new appointee Kurt House and Judge Jim Huff, honored guest.


Reading and Approval of April Minutes


Reports of Officers and Standing Committees:

·         Treasurer Report

·         Marker Report

·         Archeology Report – Fort Ramirez

·         Web Master Report

·         Oral History Report



Old Business:

          1. Oral History

2. Geronimo Update

New Business:

              1.  Sulphur Creek Bridge, Judge Huff

          2. Approve $225 reimbursement for Richard Hudson to attend summer THC conference in Austin.

            3. Janis Hudson- South Texas September History Kickoff for 7th-grade history students from surrounding towns.  Possible donation of $400 to offset the cost to Live Oak County Students attending.

          4. Determine dates for unveilings of Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy RTHL Historical Marker and the Rialto Theater Subject Marker in Three Rivers.

             5. 2017 Marker proposals: Thelma Lindholm Historical Marker and Geronimo Subject Marker to accompany the Chisholm Trail Marker.

             6.  2017 budget discussion.

             7.  LOCHC Appointee group photo for press release related to THC Distinguished Service Award for 2015.

             8.  Discussion of Statute 318.003 (b) of the Local Government Code regarding appointee status.

             9.  Determine date and time for October’s meeting- Texas Archeology Month at Sin Caja.


Leslie Walker, Chairperson

Leslie Walker

July 14, 2016

Live Oak County Historical Commission

Crowd of about 300 gathers for Geronimo Unveiling. Photo courtesy Richard Hudson.

Geronimo unveiled in new glass home.

Progress article by Richard Hudson April 27, 2016. George West


The unveiling of Geronimo in his new, resplendent skin and climate controlled, glass corral follows the 3 p.m. Chisholm Trail marker unveiling by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) on the Live Oak County Courthouse lawn in George West May 1. Honorable Judge Jim Huff will preside as Master of Ceremonies.


TXDOT regional adminstrators will give a short presentation on the Chisholm Trail first in Three Rivers at 2 p.m. followed by historian Kurt House. The TxDOT administrators will then move to George West to repeat the ceremony an hour later followed by two speakers for Geronimo.


Speakers for the Geronimo unveiling will be retired Victoria Advocate journalist, Henry Wolff, Jr. who has written extensively about longhorns and Geronimo. Felix Serna, manager of the Brooks County El Coyote Ranch, who supervised the donation of the new hide for Geronimo from a 2,200 pound look alike steer, will also speak. Serna will talk about the longhorn's economic importance to South Texas and Live Oak County.


Joe Hibler, internationally renowned taxidermist from Kingsville, placed the new hide on Geronimo's frame. This is the second time he replaced Geronimo's hide. The first time was in 1976 before Geronimo was presented in the Bicentennial exhibition in Russia.


According to deceased Live Oak County native and historian, Thelma Lindholm, Geronimo was about 22 when an injured foot sealed his fate. She said he weighted 2,200 pounds with a horn spread from tip-to-tip of nine feet, six inches. However, numerous accounts and recent measurements show various disagreements on the length of the horns.


When Geronimo was put down, Albert West, nephew of the late George Washinton West, had a San Antonio taxidermist mount the steer.


City of George West businessmen built the first glass house on the courthouse lawn in which to display the steer gazing west. Today's Live Oak business community and citizens built a new glass house much like the first. However, the esthetically pleasing house is climate controlled, completely environmentally safe, and has historical placards.


Positioning of the steer remains the same as before. Out-of-town folks, Lindholm said, gaze at Geronimo, but longtime locals gaze west with him sensing his restless urge for the open range and leading a herd of longhorns northward.


In her writings, Lindholm said that George Washington West, the towns benefactor, rancher and trail driver, gave his favorite lead steers the generic name of Geronimo. From his research, Wolff, Jr. believes this is right. He says that George West had at least three notable steers - the original red roan steer, the steer exhibited in San Antonio in 1899, and Geronimo purchased by nephew Albert West in 1911.


The July 1962 Live Oak County Herald quoted Houston Post journalist, Leon Hale, that Judge Curlee of Live Oak County said Albert West bought a herd of 2-year-old steers in Jackson County for his Uncle George. The last Geronimo, Curlee said, was among the herd which George West had delivered to his Live Oak County ranch. He sold the herd, but pastured Geronimo as a memento to the type of lead steers he admires.

2015 LOCHC Events

         Live Oak County Jail Recorded Texas Historic Landmark Unveiling at Oakville Square.

                   The Hinton Homestead

Little Harry Leslie Hinton. After Harry Hinton, Harry Leslie’s father, was killed, Louis Bates, an African American Hinton employee, became little Harry’s father figure. The house Bates lived in is now located on the Oakville Square next to the old jail.


                            Louis Bates

As told by Harry Leslie Hinton

(This story of Louis Bates was told to me by my mother. – HLH) Photo courtesy Byron Hinton.


My father, Harry Hinton, operated a saloon in Oakville.

Mr. George West lived on the West Ranch in the two story house. He bought his whiskey from time to time from my father.


Mr. West walked into the saloon one day to purchase some whiskey and said, “Harry, there is a colored boy who came up to my ranch the other night looking for work. I don’t have anything for him to do. Could you use him?”

Father said, “Yes, bring him in.”

My father had a small house a short distance from our residence, so he housed Louis there and had him work around the place. He remained with us until he was an old man.

As a teenager, Louis had been kidnapped by cattle rustlers, but escaped in Live Oak County.

I was born in 1912 and my father died in 1914, so that left my mother with a 2 year old and an eight year old boy. Louis took it upon himself to help take care of me and my brother. Additionally, we had a small farm that he farmed and a few cows, hogs, and chickens that he tended.

I can remember as a growing boy I would go to his little house and listen to him as he played the violin for me.

In later years, I asked Louis where he came from, and he said that he was born in Edna, Texas. I asked, “How in the world did you get to Live Oak County?”

He told this story: In those days cattle rustlers would drive through the country and pick up a few cattle as they went along.

They would go into another area and get a few more. After they had stolen enough cattle they would “throw” them into a trail drive to Kansas.

I asked Louis how long he had been with them. He said, “Two years.”

He said that his duty was to take care of the “remuda” (Horses of the people who drove the cattle.)

Louis said that he was afraid of being caught with them. One night they camped close to a ranch house he could see in the distance. During the night he slipped out of the camp and went to this house. Louis told the man that he needed a job, and he learned that his name was George West. He let Louis stay there that night. In a day or so he was told that he had another job and was taken to Oakville where he met his new employer, Harry Hinton.

Louis was about 17 years old when he arrived in Oakville. He died in about 1935 and is buried in the Oakville Cemetery.

I was two years old when my father died, so I did not remember him, but Louis Bates became a father figure to me. He spent his entire adult life on our place.

For many years he was the only African American in Live Oak County.

1939 George West High School Girl's Football Team with coach, Harry Leslie Hinton. Photo Armantrout Museum.

Harry Leslie Hinton

Facts related by Byron Hinton, youngest son of Harry Leslie and Anne Range Hinton, in The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas. Live Oak County Historical Commission. George West. 1982. Edited by webmaster. 


If outcomes are the measuring stick, role models set by Harry Leslie's mom, Ella Ferrell Hinton, and employee, Louis Bates, were top notch. "Harry Leslie continued to claim Live Oak County as his home. In 1936 he graduated from [Texas] A&I College, Kingsville [now Texas A&M, Kingsville] with a BBA degree. He taught commercial subjects in George West High School and later became high school coach [even girls' football] and principal...

Pearl Harbor stirred his patriotism and as soon as Harry completed the 1941-42 school year, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing boot camp at Camp Pendleton, Calif., he was chosen to attend Officers' Training School in Quantico, VA.

On May 27, 1943, Harry married Anne Range, also a native of Live Oak County, having been born on her parents' ranch in the Jarret community... In October, 1943, he was sent to the South Pacific War Theatre and served there until the end of the war. Harry returned to Live Oak County after the war, again joined the school system to teach for several years while also farming and ranching." Children born to Harry and Anne are: John Ira, 1947; Harry Stephen, 1950; Melissa Anne, 1953; and Byron Beaty, 1957.

"After his uncle Ira passed away in 1953, Harry left the teaching profession to manage newly acquired farm land and other real estate. In the 1960's, Harry served as Live Oak County Judge for eight years." Harry Leslie Hinton lived a long and fruitful life and is buried in the Oakville Cemetery.

Even though property has been bought and sold over the years, from the early 1850's the forty acre site in the bend of the Sulphur Creek was the Hinton home. It still encloses the original sandstone structure. Fifth and sixth generation Hintons still cherish their Live Oak Home and History.


Shown above from left to right, (first row) Bobby Schneider (mascot), Ruth Gadis (ruled out as kicker for the boys by the UIL), Lois Bush, Delvine Givens (captain), Geraldine Wilson (co-captain), Elsie Muennink, and Marjorie Butler; (second row) Evelyn Edwards, Drusilla Hendrick, Mary Margaret Nance (watergirl), Rena Jan Beal (watergirl), Ruby Virginia Hardwick, Marjorie Wilson, Annie Lee Karger, and Coach Harry Hinton. Photo courtest Armantrout Museum.

           Oakville Post Office-circa 1857-1993 

Mary Margaret Dougherty Campbell and Cody Campbell, descendant of John Sanderson Campbell and Minnie Bartlett Campbell. Photo by Melissa Nance.

The Oakville Post Office

Information from The History of the People of Live Oak County, Texas, authored by the people of Live Oak County and supported by the Live Oak County Historical Commission of 1982. Thanks also, to Wood Harrod, Bernard Lemley, Mary Margaret and Cody Campbell, and Mark Bledsoe.

The Oakville Post Office is the oldest post office in Live Oak County. It opened its doors on May 11, 1857 not long after the town was declared the county seat of Live Oak County. The post office's glory days may be gone, but the fond memories linger. News from family and friends was always important. Just how folks obtained that news evolved throught the years.

In early years of the West, stage coaches, hack lines, and the Pony Express were common mail carriers. Positioned as a stopping place between Brownsville, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio, as well from Laredo, Oakville was a natural place for mail to be posted, rerouted, and received. Jim Drury rode horseback carrying mail in saddlebags before stage coaches and locomotives became major carriers.

At first stage coaches ran four times a week from San Antonio to Corpus and on to Brownsville. By 1879, the San Antonio to Corpus Christi stage ran from both towns six days a week. A hack line carried mail and also passengers for $2.00 a person for the one-way six hour ride from Oakville to Beeville.  J.M. Coker’s Daily Hack Line operated from Oakville to Pettus where rail connections could be made at a cost $2.50 a person.     

Post offices were not originally created as a gathering center, but in the old days when many folks lived out on farms and ranches away from Oakville, going to the post office became a social affair. Some families made it a point to be at the post office at the same time and day each week to visit their friends and kinfolks. Whatever the latest news might be, it was a pretty good assumption that the postmaster or mistress would know.

Numerous times, the Oakville Post Office changed post masters, post mistresses, and location to sites around or near the square. Sometimes it was in a small designated wooden or stone building, a store, or even a home. No matter where it was, it had the same mail boxes, and no one’s box number changed just because the post office moved. Those very mailboxes are in the replicated post office here on the Oakville Square today.

Some say Joshua Hinton was the first Oakville Post Master, but others use records to say it was this way: Successive post masters and mistresses were: Samuel T. Foster-Oct.28, 1858 ; Joshua Hinton-Sept. 27, 1859; Julius F. Leisenger-May 15, 1860; Edward M. Reid-Nov. 16, 1860 (resigned); EM Reid-July 12, 1861 (CSA);  Joshua Hinton-March 6, 1862 (CSA); Joseph Bartlett-Jan. 23, 1863(CSA ); EM Reid-Apr. 10, 1866; Miss Anna Wheelis-June 16, 1866; Discontinued Oct. 23, 1868; Re-established Hiram Gale-Dec. 14,1868; L.G. Butler-Mar.23, 1871; Discontinued July 21, 1871; Re-established R.E. Nations-Sept. 18, 1871; L.P. Lawley-May 19, 1874 or 76; James L. Warner-Feb.18, 1879; Ernest Wimmer-June 28, 1880.  Wimmer kept post office in his Racquet Store; Felix T. Barnes-Mar. 27, 1886; Ernest Wimmer-July 26, 1886; and Charles Bryer-Jan.22, 1891.

John L. Campbell, a Captain in the Union Army during the Civil War, chose to make Oakville his home a number of years later. When he came to Oakville, Campbell came as a Live Oak citizen and married Minnie Bartlett. Also a master cabinet maker, Campbell helped remodel the courthouse and jail in 1877. He became postmaster in January of 1891 until April 24, 1901. His daughter, Beulah M. Campbell, followed him until Sept. 18, 1913.  Next is Beulah M. Monroe (possibly a name change for Campbell's daughter) April 14, 1914.

After the Campbells, Juniate Mahoney-Sept. 10, 1919, Gertrude Jones-May 28, 1925, (Gertrude Graham); Henry A. Jones-Mar. 2, 1926; Mamie Manning-June 14, 1926.

In 1926, a long time of service began for the Lemley family. Buna Lemley and Dema Lemley became post master and post mistresses. Dema had the post office in her home, mailboxes and all in the front room. Jewel is said to have served twenty years from 1944 until 1964. Betty Lemley, daughter of Dema, was the first Oakville Post Office contractor once Oakville became a rural branch of Three Rivers in 1966. Oakville no longer had a post master or mistress. Betty received a whopping $4.00 a day or about $96.00 a month. She was replaced by Pearl Harrod Carter, then Joe Coquat in 1975, and subsequently his daughter, Janis Bluhm.

In 1981, the Live Oak County Historical Commission placed a Texas Historical Subject Marker on the east access easement between US Highway 37 and Oakville Square dedicated to the service of the Oakville Post Office. That same year, Mark Bledsoe built The Oakville Mercantile on property that once was the home place of his great uncle, Dr. Charles Haskins Reagan. Mark had the post office in his store from 1981 until 1993. By then, inflation brought payment for services to $9.50 a day or $247.00 monthly. Mark was the last post office contractor of Oakville. 

Loma Sandia-Prehistoric Native American Marker Unveiling near Three Rivers, Texas

LIVE OAK COUNTY – History was made and finally cemented.

The long-anticipated marker dedication for the Loma Sandia site was well-attended and worth the wait.

Greetings and words of welcome from Historical Commission Chair Leslie Walker, Mayor Sam Garcia, Judge Jim Huff and other local dignitaries started off a full program of events on Sunday at the Three Rivers High School.

Rudi Harst of San Antonio, accompanied by Buffalo Thunder del Toro, performed a Prayer of the Four Directions and other Native American music throughout the program, which included talks from Richard Hudson, marker chair for the commission, and Dr. Frank Weir, retired director of archaeological services for TxDOT.

Following some concluding remarks from the master of ceremonies, Mary Margaret Campbell, a convoy proceeded to the site of the marker, where a blessing was performed by Balde Mara Galvan Jr. and Lillian Burmeister Casper, representatives from the Native American Council of Beeville. The ceremony closed out with a Native American Pipe Ceremony, in honor of the ancestors.

In September 1977, investigations began on the Loma Sandia site that eventually produced evidence of human skeletal remains of approximately 205 individuals – the largest find of its kind in South Texas.

“It’s amazing to me to think that so long ago, people were living here, much as we do, and for many of the same reasons: plenty of hunting, fishing, and proximity to water,” Mayor Garcia said. “It’s really a good place to live for so many reasons.”

The Live Oak Historical Commission had good reason to be proud of the ceremony.

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to not only those that took part in the program, but also to those who did behind the scene work on this project for many weeks,” Huff said. “My congratulations to a great group of people with a strong interest in preserving our heritage and teaching others about it.”

Texas Undertold Story Markers are sponsored by the Texas Historical Commission and require no funding from the county. In 2012, Loma Sandia was one of the 10 markers chosen from among the 48 applications submitted.

Posted by Jennifer Jordan of the Progress for Live Oak and McMullen Counties

Texas Capitol-Thanks to LoneStarMike and Wikimedia for this photo.

Live Oak County Historical Commission Capitol Day


Thanks to the Honorable Jim Huff, Live Oak County Judge for arranging Wednesday, April 8, for this day. Please note meeting time at 9:00 AM.


All appointees to the Live Oak County Historical Commission (LOCHC) and anyone interested in supporting Live Oak County is welcome. A resolution honoring the efforts of all LOCHCs since their inception will be presented to our officers. A note from Judge Huff follows:



Live Oak County Historical Commission

Day in Austin at the Capitol

April 8th 2015


Please meet in the Capitol at Senator Judith Zaffirini’s office.  The directions below will take you directly to her office.


9:00 AM    Meet at Senator Zaffirini’s office.  We will be escorted from there to the House Gallery.


(The House of Representatives meets at 9:00 AM; the Senate begins session at 10:00 AM)


We will be recognized from the Gallery by Resolution.  After recognition we will then join Representative Guillen for a group picture, then escorted to the Senate Gallery.


10:00 AM Recognition as a group seated in the Senate Gallery. Pictures to follow with Senator



The Senate Gallery and the House Gallery are both located on the 3rd floor of the Capitol – directly across the rotunda from each other.


Lunch: Capitol Cafeteria is located in the underground capitol extension – gift shop very close to cafeteria.


2:00 PM        Meet with a Texas Historical Commission representative in room 3.E.4 for questions, updates, etc.  Room is available until 4 pm. This room is located very near the entrance to the Senate Gallery.


The capitol building is a study of history itself.  The new underground extension levels are the offices to the majority of the elected state officials.  It also includes numerous meeting rooms where legislative committees meet and public testimony is given relating to bills before they pass to the “floor” for a vote.


Since the legislature is in session, don’t expect any place we visit to not be somewhat crowded and fast paced. There are elevators available throughout the capitol.


The Texas State Capitol is taller than our US Capitol building!!!!


Senator Judith Zaffirini

21st Senatorial District

2nd ranking state senator


Office number 1.E.14 


Representative Ryan Guillen

District 31


Office number 4S.3


Directions to the Capitol from IH 35 North


IH 35 N to exit #235 A “State Capitol “ exit

Turn left onto 15th Street, then left onto San Jacinto Street

Multi level visitors parking on the left at intersection of San Jacinto between 13th and 12th Street.


Walk across San Jacinto Street, to the Capitol.  You will see the capitol entrance doors- go through security; Senator Zaffirini’s office will be the first office on your left. (You are parked on the East side of the Capitol and enter the Capitol on the East side.) 


Directions from IH 35 South

IH 35 S to exit 234C

Turn right onto 12th Street

Parking garage at 12th and Trinity


Exits and visitors parking are well marked. 35 North and 35 South Directions will take you to the same visitors parking garage – just different sides.


Traffic in Austin is heavy especially at this time of morning. 


I will be in Austin Tuesday and will meet everyone at the Capitol Wednesday morning. 




Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery Marker Dedication


Beginning September 1977 through October 1978, the Loma Sandia site (watermelon hill) was alive with activity. Investigations were conducted by Archeologists provided by the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation (SDHPT; now the Texas Department of Transportation). These investigations employed numerous Live Oak County citizens. The investigations produced evidence of human skeletal remains of approximately 205 individuals. This find was the largest of its kind for South Texas and changed the way early civilization was viewed.


The final analyses and report preparation were conducted by archeologists, consultants, and office staff with the Center for Archaeological Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio, and later, with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory at The University of Texas at Austin.


The Live Oak County Historical Commission requests the honor of your presence in celebrating the history of Live Oak County with the unveiling and dedication of a historical marker honoring the Loma Sandia Prehistoric Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, April 19th.   This is a community heritage event for all of Live Oak County.


2:00 P.M.        Assembly and Greetings: Three Rivers High School Student Activity Center.  Refreshments & Exhibits.


3:00 P.M.        Program.


4:15 P.M.        Processional to Marker site: Three Rivers Police,

                        Vance Roberts, Police Chief.

                        Dedication and Unveiling Ceremony.

Dedication complete.


Thank you for supporting our county’s history with your presence and participation.


Three Rivers High School Student Activity Center, 351 S School Road, Three Rivers, Texas


Loma Sandia Marker Site, South Access of I37, between Love’s Truck Stop and Hwy 72

GPS: 28.517336,-98.177617

Loma Sandia Cemetery Undertold Story Historical Marker to be Unveiled April 19

A burial party lays a loved one to rest at Loma Sandia, about 2700 years ago. This interpretive painting by TBH artist Frank Weir accurately depicts some of the archeological evidence documented at th A Loma Sandia burial party about 2700 years ago. With permission from Frank Weir, artist, University of Texas at San Antonio and Texas: Beyond History website.


 Loma Sandia Prehistoric Indian Campsite and Cemetery which existed at least 800 years before Christ became known locally as "The Dig" just three miles northwest of Three Rivers, Texas back in the 1970s when road construction surveys found indications of its early existence.Site excavation, analyses, and data collection was done by archeologists from then Texas Department of Transportation and Highways (now TxDoT). This information was passed to the University of Texas at San Antonio who with the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University at College Station, and Texas Technological University conducted further studies which resulted in an exhaustive and conclusive report describing the history of the people inhabiting the area long before written history began.


The Texas Historical Commission has awarded an Undertold Story Marker to Live Oak County for the site. Unveiling of the marker and celebration of the county's Native American heritage and those who worked on this project will begin at the Three Rivers High School on Sunday, April 19 with the following schedule:


2:00-Greeting and Exhibits at the Three Rivers High School Activity Center

        351 South School Road

        Three Rivers, TX 75071


4:15-Processional and Unveiling at the site.

2014 LOCHC Events

Work Day at Lebanon Cemetery

LOCHC Lebanon Cemetery Clean-UP Photo courtesy of Leslie Walker-Photographer unnamed.

Members of the Live Oak County Historical Commission and the community met together at the Lebanon Cemetery on Saturday, November 8, 2014 to clean and help preserve hallowed grounds. Members and community contributors from left to right front row are: Leslie Walker, Sue Denniston, Drusanne Hunter, Sally Mackey, Patsy Wells, Wood Harrod, Betty Lyne, and Roberta Dobie. Second row: Jeane Pierre Coquat, Becky Stancik Deleon, Kevin Mackey, Ross Harris, Conrad Conrad, and John Walker.


Lebanon Cemetery is the last vestige of a lively community in Live Oak County close to the Bee County Line. Lebanon served not only its own community, but La Para, also in Live Oak County, and Cadiz in Bee County. Among the teachers at the Lebanon School were: Pattie Reagan (Daughter of Dr. G. P. Reagan), Mr. Gattis, Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Van Dusen, and Ruby Atkins. 


Lebanon's only church, the Methodist Church, met in the school building and then built a large sanctuary in the 1890's. Folks with different persuasions usually met in the nearest town with kindred spirits to theirs. Lebanon Methodist Church was known for lively camp meetings that welcomed all denominations during the summer sometimes numbering as many as 600 people with services starting at 10:30 AM and lasting until midnight.  


The earliest marked grave is Robert Paul Custer who died at the tender age of nine. He was born December 4, 1868 and passed away on October 18, 1878. Many of his family are buried in this cemetery also. Among others of note are the Atkins family, Charles and Lily Edwards with other members of their family, Guerroro, Rodriguez, Salinas, Tullis, and Thurmond families among the 139 graves. The last burial here was as recent as August 25, 2013 when Dorothea Blankenship was laid to rest.


Live Oak County folks are encouraged to keep up local cemeteries from the one-person graves which dot the ranchlands to the larger ones in George West with 1,774 interments and Three Rivers with 2,508. Thanks to Leslie Walker for sharing this photograph and the 1982 LOCHC and Mr. Ervin Sparkman for information.

Echo Stagecoach Inn (Pronounced Eeko)

Echo Stage Coach Ruins (Photo by R.E. "Hud" Hudson and courtesy of Monte and Andi Estes)

Following is from the original application for Echo's Texas Historical Subject Marker. For up to date corrections please refer to "Texas Historic Markers-Echo Stagecoach Depot and Post Office".


Known as “Mount Echo” or “The Point”, this site once belonged to Empresario James McGloin. His daughter and son-in-law, Elizabeth and Patrick Murphy, ran a general store at Echo. John Bernard Murphy

(1822?-1884) and his wife Margaret Mary (Healy) (1833-1907) both born in Ireland, settled here in the 1850’s and built a two story ranch house. J.B. Murphy, who was not related to Patrick Murphy, was later mayor of Corpus Christi. A one-story building near the J.B. Murphy ranch house served as a station for stagecoach lines from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and south Texas. It housed the Echo Post Office from 1858 until 1879. The stage road through Echo was a dry weather route along the East Bank of the Nueces River. A higher caliche road that was passable in wet seasons served stage stops on the west side of the river. Until the arrival of the railroad in this area, the Echo Depot and post office provided a vital link with the outside world. In the 1880’s, Margaret Mary Murphy moved to San Antonio and founded the Sisters of the Holy Ghost. She used the ranch as a retreat for nuns and converted the Echo Depot into a chapel. R.F. Sellers bought the property in 1906 and used the building for storage. It was demolished by hurricane Celia in 1970. (Marker text as erected in 1979.) The property is now owned by Monte and Andi Estes. The marker is property of the State of Texas.

Murphy Ranch Home to Inn (Photo by R.E. "Hud" Hudson and courtesy of Monte and Andi Estes.)

The Murphy Ranch Home built by Patrick and Elizabeth McGloin Murphy first served as their ranch home, then became an Inn for travelers during the stagecoach days when travelers wished to rest along their journeys. It later provided lodging for The Sisters of the Holy Ghost after Margaret Mary Healey Murphy purchased the property. Finding her mission to the poor, neglected orphans of freed slaves engulfed with prejudice and teachers few, Margaret Mary Healy Murphy made three trips to Ireland seeking nuns who would help. Before going to San Antonio, the nuns were trained here to speak Spanish and taught other cultural information needed to serve in their new found Texas homeland.  Margaret Mary became Reverend Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy, and the order is now known as Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate. 

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